Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize

Friday, October 28, 2011

Northwestern University’s Poetry and Poetics Colloquium proudly announces a partnership with Northwestern University Press for the inaugural Drinking Gourd chapbook poetry prize, a first-book award for poets of color. This will be an annual award combining the efforts of Northwestern’s Poetry and Poetics Colloquium and Northwestern University Press in celebrating and publishing works of lasting cultural value and literary excellence.

Seeking to showcase the work of emerging poets of color, volumes in the Drinking Gourd series will be selected by a panel of distinguished minority poets and scholars and will feature a short introduction by a senior minority writer.  Our first prize chapbook will be introduced by the renowned poet, Ed Roberson, who will also publish an accompanying chapbook of new work to launch the series.   

Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize Guidelines:


Winner receives $350 prize money, publication by Northwestern University Press in Fall 2012, 15 copies of the book, and a featured reading.  Results announced in March 2012.


Judging will be conducted by a panel of senior minority poets and scholars assembled by the Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium.


Poets of color who have not previously published a book-length volume of poetry. Simultaneous submissions to other contests should be noted.  Immediate notification upon winning another award is required.


Reading period begins January 15, 2012. Manuscripts must be received by January 15, 2012. To be notified that your manuscript has been received, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard. The winner will be announced on March 15, 2012.


  • Send two copies of a single manuscript.  One manuscript per poet allowed.
  • Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive notification of results.
  • Author’s name should not appear on any pages within the manuscript. Copy One must include a title page with the author’s brief bio (200 words, maximum) and contact information: author’s name, postal address, e-mail address and telephone number. Copy Two must include a cover sheet with the title only.
  • Manuscript must be typed single-sided with a minimum font size of 11, paginated and 25-35 pages in length.
  • Manuscript must include a table of contents and list of acknowledgments of previously published poems.
  • Manuscript must be unbound. Use a binder clip—do not staple or fold. Do not include illustrations or images of any kind.
  • Manuscripts not adhering to submission guidelines will be discarded without notice to sender.
  • Due to the volume of submissions, manuscripts will not be returned.
  • Post-submission revisions or corrections are not permitted.


Reading Fee                                                                                                                                

$10. Enclose check with submission, made payable to Northwestern University.

Direct Packet to:

 Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium and Workshop

Drinkg Gourd Prize Chapbook Series

Univeristy Hall 215

1897 Sheridan Rd.

Evanston, IL 60208

Attn: Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb